7 Documentaries from Our Communities Screening at 2021 DOC NYC Festival

Lead Photo: Courtesy of Asombro Producciones
Courtesy of Asombro Producciones
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The 12th Annual DOC NYC Festival takes place November 10-28. It is considered the largest documentary festival in the United States.

“After pivoting in 2020 to present a completely online festival, we’re thrilled to be bringing films and filmmakers in person to New Yorkers again,” DOC NYC artistic director Thom Powers said in a release. “We’re proud to showcase such a wide spectrum of documentary [films] representing the diverse perspectives of our programming team.”

Some of the diversity will come from several documentaries with themes from our communities. This year, the festival will screen more than 120 feature docs, including 68 that will be making either their world or U.S. premiere.

If you’re planning on attending this year’s DOC NYC Festival either in person or online, there are plenty of films to choose from. Below are seven of those feature-length documentaries with Latine storylines that sound intriguing.

DOC NYC 2021 happens in person November 10-18 at the IFC Center, SVA Theatre, and Cinépolis Chelsea. The festival will continue online after that through November 28. For more information on the films and for a complete schedule and lineup, visit



Filmmaker Gian Cassini investigates the life of his late hitman father, who was known as El Jimmy. After El Jimmy is killed in Mexico, Cassini goes out in search of some of his estranged family members to try to fill in the pieces of his father’s life that he doesn’t know. This includes talking to his grandfather, who has vague ties to Fidel Castro and the CIA, and his father’s last girlfriend who may know something about his murder.


On the Other Side

Director Iván Guarnizo and his brother set out to find one of the guerilla members of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), who held his mother captive for over a year and a half after she was kidnapped in 2004. During her life, Guarnizo’s mother would talk about a specific young man who Guarnizo believes shared a “relationship” with his mom. Using his mother’s journal, the brothers hope to locate their mother’s captor and learn more about those dark times in Colombia’s history.

On the other side, Official trailer from Iván Guarnizo on Vimeo.



A woman named Edna shares stories with filmmaker Eryk Rocha about the harrowing things she has witnessed living near a Trans-Brasilian motorway in Brazilian Amazonia. During her time there, she has seen the country’s military dictatorship carry out massacres and other crimes and has documented it in her own diary, which she calls Story of My Life.


Nothing But the Sun

Filmmaker Arami Ullón tells the story of Mateo Sobode Chiqueno, a man who has been recording the sounds of the Ayoreo people in Paraguay since the 1970s. Chiqueno records stories, songs and testimonies of the tribes and remembers back to when he was a young native man who was uprooted from his tribal lands and forced to leave their home by white missionaries.


A Cop Movie

Director Alonso Ruizpalacios takes audiences through the process of what it’s like to become a police officer in a dysfunctional system in Mexico City. He does this from the perspective of two professional actors who help him skirt the line between fiction and nonfiction.


The Silence of the Mole

Director Anais Taracena tells the story of Elias Barahona, a journalist who, during the 1970s, was able to infiltrate the Guatemalan government and uncover the political violence that had taken over the country.



Omara documentary

Director Hugo Perez’s documentary features the life and career of Afro-Cuban singer and Buena Vista Social Club member Omara Portuondo, who was often described as Cuba’s own Billie Holiday. Now 91 years old, the legendary musician talks about how she confronted racism and misogyny throughout her career and how she used her music to connect to her fans globally. The doc is being released on the 25th anniversary of the recording of the groundbreaking Cuban album Buena Vista Social Club.

Courtesy of Braven Films